Ad-Blocking tools – Bad news for online advertisers

July 16th, 2009 by Lowell D'Souza Leave a reply »

Ad blocking is a bit of a concern to online advertisers. I was made aware of this when I was at TUI and had partnered with a online advertising publisher to run ads on one of the student travel web properties. That’s when I discovered AdBlock – an extremely potent and yet useful add-on for Firefox which was not letting the ads display on some PCs that had this add-on enabled. I did some checking on this…

Adblock has 2.5 million users globally and according to the creator is adding 300,000 new users monthly (See NYTimes link below). Other than this information and the other links below, no hard data on installs and usage are available. I’ve had experience on many ad delivery platforms and ad-blocking has been a recurring concern among customers. Other players in this space include Ad Killer & AdBeGone.

In 2006, Forrest Research conducted a study of this usage and concluded that 53% of all consumers had ad blocking software on their PCs. 81% of broadband households with high-speed Internet access employ pop-up blockers and spam filters. The report’s called “Consumers love to hate Advertising” and is by Forrester’s accomplished Peter Kim and is available for $279.

A quick add on : The fact that such ad blocking tools have penetrated the mainstream Internet user segment so effectively shows the shift in consumer tolerance as well as an understanding by consumers that they need not accept everything that the web throws at them and that there are options available. The consensus today is that most consumers trust each other’s opinions more than random ads. According to a survey of online consumers carried out by Forrester, 72% stated that they relied on their own experiences and 56% stated that they trusted friends and family to influence their perceptions of companies and brands. Another key finding was that the percentages of consumers that learned about products through advertising or bought products because of advertising decreased radically as the study showed that just 6% trusted advertising.

It’s an interesting time.

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